May 1 is a day that is being circled on calendars by Colorado bettors as legalized sports gambling is slated to go LIVE! In November, the citizens of The Centennial State voted to allow legal sports betting and since then, lawmakers and casino operators have been busy putting the final touches on just what the platform will look like.
Sean Demeule, vice president and general manager of Ameristar Casino in Black Hawk recently commented that "(We're) thrilled that the voters passed sports betting last November. We're starting to plan how we're going to roll it out here at Ameristar. We're going to start with a sportsbook here on property, working on the design right now,"
"We're taking what's been done in Vegas and improving on that," he added.
The Colorado landscape 3 months out
As with any emerging sports betting market in the US, Colorado has seen a rash of sports betting companies chasing the 33 licenses that will be issued in the state. Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek are the three cities in the state that will be home to the brick-and-mortar facilities and will split the 33 licenses.
According to data from The Colorado Division of Gaming (DOG), as of January 16, a total of 51 applicants had come forward for the 33 licenses. The legal betting culture is expected to be robust, competitive and possibly one of the most successful in the country. That’s if the rollout goes as planned.
Why Colorado will be successful
Colorado has representatives in all major North American Sports. The Denver Broncos of the NFL, Denver Nuggets of the NBA, the Colorado Rockies of MLB and the Colorado Avalanche of the NHL give the state a rabid fan base that gambling operators hope to turn into avid sports bettors.
Also working in their favor, Colorado voters OK’d not only brick-and-mortar facilities in the state but also the far-more lucrative mobile betting platform. That model has worked in successful states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania where 84% of their enormous monthly handles have been coming via mobile means.
Bettors in Colorado will be spared the hassle of having to register in-person at brick-and-mortar facilities. The plan is for bettors being able to set up their accounts from the comfort of their couch or anywhere within the Colorado state lines.
Where the tax dollars are slated to go
Like other states that have welcomed legal sports betting, the tax revenue generated is scheduled to be used for the betterment of the state. Some states have chosen education upgrades, others have sought to bolster their pension funds and others have infrastructure programs to spend their gambling tax funds on.
Colorado has identified water conservation projects as their way to use the tax revenues. It is said that approximately 50 cents for every $100 wagered will end up in state coffers – that after sportsbooks pay out winnings and calculate their overall revenues.
Which companies are scheduled to launch in Colorado
All of the big players in the legal sports industry are scheduled to come online in Colorado May 1, or shortly thereafter. FanDuel and their direct competition are the biggest two names lined up to provide mobile betting services with William Hill, BetAmerica, Betfred and Twin River all ready to get a piece of the Colorado sports betting action.
Colorado’s sports betting scene is already seeing growth despite not one brick-and-mortar facility being opened or one mobile platform being launched. Expect the growth to be rapid and continuous and for Colorado to turn some heads in the battle to become America’s most bet-friendly state.